The Joys of Teaching

The Joys of Teaching

by Martin Huxley

At the rising of moons that are blue,
The PROFESSOR goes lecturing too.
He strides down the stair
With his head in the air,
“Er, excuse me, is this Honours Two?” (1970s)

Doctor G— lost a morsel of face
Over not setting work for 1H:
It was poorly expressed;
He gave them a `rest’
When he meant to say `metrical space’. (1970s)

Two-one have a question to bring:
“Mr. H— please, what is a ring?”
The question he passes,
Looks over his glasses:
“You ought to know that sort of thing!” (1970s)

There was an old fellow called H—
Who said “I can not see the use
Of teaching these students
Mathematical rudiments,
When they only recall what they choose!” (1970s)

There was a young man from Trethomas
Who began as a student for Honours,
But he married a wife
Who had plans for his life,
So now he’s at night school for commerce. (1970s)

Said N— with utmost persuasion
Adapting his words to the occasion,
“On the slide I’ve just shown,
x and y are unknown,
So we get what is called an equation.” (Computing Seminar 1970s)

“LAGRANGE multipliers., I remember,
Rest on M perp perp equals M bar.
If I tell Honours One
All of this,” G— went on,
“It will take me the whole of November.” (1970s)

A Professor from somewhere near Frome
Once called a tame sheep to his room,
“Though the hour is late,
I can not promulgate
Who’ll teach what, and with what, and to whom!” (1970s)

The laws of the Medes and The Persians
Allow no alternative versions,
And are therefore superior
To the Pure Board’s criteria,
On which let us not cast aspersions. (1980s)

Mathematical structure survives
The Merged Course Economy Drives:
`Partial integration’
Means diff’rentiation
In the second term, when it arrives. (about 1990)

Prof. E—- is right to deplore
That the rooms are not cleaned any more,
But I’m beggared to see
What a `pool room’ can be
But the room with a pool on the floor. (1990s)

Doctor L—- sat writing with zest
A syllabus fit for the best,
But when he got there,
The cupboard was bare
Of all but the Ratio Test. (1995)

The Board’s rules remain on the whole on
A par with the Edicts of SOLON,
But according to FOWLER’s,
They perpetrate howlers:
Running Heads require no semicolon. (1995)

The Examiners’ Meeting today
Put all of the gradings in play:
They’re still importuning
For `last minute tuning’
Which means: `give each fiddler an A’. (1995)

The First Years were stumbling through
A Test of Some Nice Things to Do,
When stupor congenital
Made them fly off `tangenital’
At the fractional powers of two. (1995)

In the dark of the ninetieth minute,
Hang on to your script, do not bin it!
Although, Mr. —-,
Your efforts are measly,
Regulations are strictly agin it. (1996)

I approach with the utmost forboding
The lectures on 321 Coding,
Prof HUXLEY’s digressions
Including impressions
Of a Spectrum computer that’s loading. (late 1990s)

Doctor R—- had a desperate chase
To get all the ideas in place.
He determined to precis
The notion of `basis’,
But still could not make any space. (1990s)

The questionnaire answers were cheeky.
We’d rather have digs that are sneaky,
Not what someone said,
A simple “Drop dead,”
But the puzzling “Black Beard was squeaky”. (1990s)

Inner products, and no-one complains,
Who can hear above Ponty line trains.
That’s how T— B—
Teaches Algebra Wawn,
For Cardiff’s the city of Brain’s. (2002)